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Arroyo Regime Has No Intention
of Ending Extrajudicial Killings

By Fidel V. Agcaoili
Chairperson, Human Rights Committee
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
25 February 2007

The concerted negative reactions of the de facto president Gloria M. Arroyo, executive secretary Eduardo Ermita, justice secretary Raul Gonzalez, and Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to the Alston statement and Melo commission report show that the Arroyo regime has no intention of ending the extrajudicial killings by special teams or death squads of the military.

Gloria M. Arroyo continues to evade command responsibility for the extrajudicial killings. She has not called for the arrest and prosecution of Major General Jovito Palparan for the butchery in his previous areas of command. She deliberately refuses to hold responsible the military officers for the extrajudicial killings in their areas of command. Police investigators and the Inter-Agency Legal Assistance Group continue to cover up the murders, abductions and other crimes being committed by the death squads.

Arroyo has allowed Ermita, Raul Gonzalez and Esperon to use their official positions in attacking the UN special rapporteur Philip Alston and even the Arroyo-created Melo commission. Worst of all, they continue to harp on the line of intrigue that the victims of extrajudicial killings are "communists" who are being killed by communists for being spies and malversing funds. By this line, they seek to discredit and destroy both the progressive legal activists and the armed revolutionaries.

Together with the national security adviser Norberto Gonzales, they tried to hoodwink the Alston mission and the Melo commission with such line and failed miserably. Instead, they unwittingly underscored the facts and truth in the testimonies of the direct witnesses to the extrajudicial killings, including surviving victims and families of those murdered and abducted.

But General Esperon, the notorious operative of Arroyo in the 2004 elections, knows no limits for his malice and stupidity. He holds a press conference to recycle a film clip spliced by the military propagandists in 1987 and to accuse the Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, Prof. Jose Maria Sison, of having identified legal national democratic forces, such as those in the Bayan multisectoral alliance, as "NDF front organizations". The point of Esperon is that the military is at liberty to murder progressive legal activists by simply labeling them as communists.

Ad nauseam, Esperon continues to blame Rep. Satur Ocampo, NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni and Prof. Sison for the massacre perpetrated by the Philippine Army in Leyte in 1984 and falsely accuses them of having signed an order in the same year for the New People's Army to conduct a purge in Leyte. Then, in a non sequitur leap, he makes the false claim that there is an "internal purge" going on in the ranks of the revolutionary forces from 2001 to the present.

Arroyo and all her top subalterns are hell-bent on continuing the extrajudicial killings. They seek to counter the rise of popular opposition to their oppressive and exploitative rule. They are driven by their own lust for power and lucre and they are all emboldened by the Anti-Terror Act, which Arroyo is about to sign. But they are blind to the lessons provided by the rise and fall of the Marcos fascist dictatorship. They are inciting the people to fight back and undertake all forms of resistance.

If they can survive the wrath of the people and flee the country, Arroyo and her accomplices will still be chased to the US where they have accumulated properties and financial assets. There, like the unlamented Marcos, they will be made to face charges of corruption, money laundering and command responsibility for human rights violations, especially for the torture, disappearance and murder of so many people. ###

Ruth de Leon
Executive Director
NDFP International Information Office
Fax +31-84-7589930

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